If we want to live, we must eat.
The Bible tells us that “man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.” (Deut. 8:3)
But what good is bread if you don’t eat it?
Physically, we eat by chewing and swallowing. Spiritually, we eat by reading and memorizing.
And just as we do not eat one slice of bread on Sunday, expecting that to sustain us for a week, we should not be satisfied to read a few verses here and there, and be done.
We need to eat our Bible by memorizing it.
Why you need to memorize large chunks of the Bible
Memorization allows you to better understand what you read.
It protects you from destructive mindsets (if you’re meditating on Scripture, you’ll be too busy to entertain negative thoughts).
And it gives the Holy Spirit the opportunity to remind you of relevant verses right when you need them.
On a practical note, it’s easier to remember twenty verses in a row than twenty unrelated verses scattered randomly throughout the Bible.
And by memorizing entire books and chapters, you can more easily recall verse references without relying on a search engine.
Convinced? Ready to start memorizing? Let’s not waste any more time, then:
Don’t bite off more than you can chew
Even if your end goal is to memorize a large chunk of the Bible, the process requires you to take one step at a time.
A journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step. And continues with another. And another.
Unless you have seven-league boots, you’re going to have to keep taking one step at a time for a long, long time.
But as long as you persist, you will look back one day and be stunned at how far you’ve come.
To facilitate persistence, don’t wear yourself out too soon.
Aim to memorize at least one verse, but no more than three per day (depending on the length of the verse), every day. You want to make sure you have each verse down pat each day before you add more.
Memorizing the Bible is like building a house. You must make sure every level is solid before you try to build the next one.
Write your verses on an index card
The best way to memorize is to use as many senses as possible to solidify your memory. Writing helps you engage three of your seven senses: visual, kinesthetic (movement), and tactile (touch)
(Yes, there are seven senses. The common five, plus proprioception and kinesthesia).
Writing your verses on an index card and adding to it day after day will help your brain remember. It will also increase your motivation as you see how far you’ve come.
Plus, an index card is small and fits anywhere — as a bookmark in your Bible, purse, wallet, pocket, anything.
And if you lose it, not to worry! Writing another index card will just give you extra practice.
Speak out loud
Another important sense to utilize is hearing.
When you start a new verse, say it out loud as often as you can. Experiment with volume and word emphasis.
(For example: Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Trust in the Lord with all your heart).
As you are driving, washing dishes, or doing any mindless task throughout the day, mutter your verses to yourself, or say them out loud. Familiarize your mouth and ear to the feel and sound of the words.
Pay attention to details
Don’t settle for paraphrases. The more you force yourself to memorize the details accurately (including every “filler word” like: and, or, that), the less likely you are to forget the verse.
Besides, you never know whether or not the seemingly unimportant words are actually critical to the verse’s meaning.
When you memorize a verse or two a day, adding to what you’ve learned the day before, you will end up knowing verses 1–10 like the back of your hand and find yourself stumbling on 11–20.
To avoid this, review the verses backwards.
In other words, when you are reviewing your verses, memorize verse 10 out loud. Then speak verses 9–10 out loud. Then verses 8–10, then 7–10, and so on and so forth.
By the time you’ve reviewed your verses all the way back to verse 1, you will have reviewed verse 10 a total of ten times, verse 9 nine times, and so on and so forth, ensuring that you will give yourself enough practice with the latter verses.
One extra tip
If you’re particularly fond of technology, check out Scripture Typer. This is a helpful free app that allows you to memorize verses by typing them out on your phone or computer.
A final word
Not eating makes you physically weak. Not reading God’s Word will do the same, spiritually.
But if you memorize the Bible, you will never starve — because you’ll always have a supply of “snacks” stored in your mind to nibble on.
The key to Bible chunk memorization is not to sit down for five hours, stuff your brain with an entire book, and then ignore the Word for the rest of the week.
Instead, memorize (and review what you’ve memorized) the way you eat — several times a day, every day.
Don’t hurry. Savor the experience. Be consistent.
In time, regular feeding on God’s Word will help you grow strong and healthy, inside and out.
If this was helpful…
Please share and leave a comment! If you have any other tips for memorizing large chunks of the Bible, I would love to hear it.
This post was originally pubished on Medium